Purpose: The primary origin of neuroendocrine tumor metastases can be difficult to determine by histopathology alone, but is critical for therapeutic decision making. DNA methylation-based profiling is now routinely used in the diagnostic workup of brain tumors. This has been enabled by the availability of cost-efficient array-based platforms. We have extended these efforts to augment histopathological diagnosis in neuroendocrine tumors.
Experimental Design and Results: We compiled data of 69 small-intestinal, pulmonary, and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. These data were used to build a ridge regression calibrated random forest classification algorithm (NEN-ID) that predicts the origin of tumor samples with high accuracy (> 95%). The model was validated during 3x3 nested cross validation and tested in a local (n=26) and external (n=172) cohort. In addition, we show that our diagnostic approach is robust across a range of possible confounding experimental parameters such as tumor purity and array quality. A software infrastructure and online user interface was built to ... (Show More)